So what is Rawblood? Initially I was fooled into believing that it was a Victorian Gothic novel in the style of Wilkie Collins, but I was wrong. This spans further than the Victorian era with it’s ending encompassing W W1. Then I though it was a ghost story, more Woman in Black than Woman in White, but it’s more than that. Rawblood is a life story. The story of one girl’s life and the strands that bind her, that stranglehold her to an existence never hoped or dreamed for, even in the worst types of nightmare. This tale reaffirms that old truth that wrongdoing never pays, that those that live questionable lives always pay in the end.
The writing style is unusual, some might even say choppy, but for me it fit the story line. I’m a skimmer usually, but here I found myself reading and absorbing every word, every phrase – here is a book that clearly wasn’t churned out. Here is a book, a long book that took an age to write and therefore an age to appreciate – it took me four days!
Of course in writing such an ambitious book there was always the question of how it was going to end. Many such books end up as a great disappointment for the reader as we turn the last page only to find that there are still questions to be answered. Not so here. The ending is a surprise, but as endings go it’s neat and satisfies by binding all the parts together.
The challenge will be what next for Catriona Ward? This book will set her up there, but what next….I’ll certainly be very happy to read anything that she writes in the future.